CALL YOUR REP - SUPPORT HB 1409
House bill 1409 prohibits discrimination against a tenant or prospective tenant SOLELY because part of the household's monthly rent will be paid with a rental voucher, or because someone in the household has been victimized by domestic violence. It was recommended Ought To Pass, 11-7 in the House Judiciary Committee.
Right now in NH, it's legal to post: "No section 8 tenants accepted." We can do better.
-Ensures low-income seniors, families, people with disabilities, and veterans whose rental assistance helps them live independent and productive lives are judged on their own merits as potential tenants.
- Helps domestic violence survivors find needed housing.
- Brings NH in line with over a dozen other states, as well as several counties and municipalities, to end this form of discrimination.
This bill was tabled. It may return, so you can still register support.
EMAIL LIST FOR QUICK ACTION:
If you would like to be on an email list for quick action on legislative issues, please send your email to email@example.com
. I promise there will not be an avalanche of posts!
CONTACT LEGISLATORS ON MINIMUM WAGE FOR MARCH 12 VOTE
On Feb 11, the Labor Committee of the NH House of Representatives held a hearing on increasing the minimum wage in NH. The current rate is tied to the federal wage of $7.25/hr. and the bill asks for a raise to $8.25 by next year and $9/hr in 2016.
Most of the people present were in support of an increase. All the surrounding states already pay a higher minimum wage. Nashua has the highest rents in NH. Please contact your rep to voice your opinion.
THE EXCHANGE - HOMELESSNESS
Laura Knoy's talk show, The Exchange, on NH Public Radio, featured a discussion on homelessness on Wed., Jan 8. Eileen Brady of NSK&S was on the panel, as were Lenny Constant, a formerly homeless man, Cathy Kuhn from the NH Ending Homelessness Coalition, and Sharon Drake from Serenity Place in Manchester. Go to http://www.nhpr.org/ , go to The Exchange for January 8 to hear the program.
STILL OUT OF REACH
Massachusetts has more people in shelters and motels than ever before at a great cost to the state, largely because of the unaffordability of apartments/houses for those in the bottom 30-40% of income. As rents rise there, they rise in southern NH as well.
Unless the Federal budget begins to include more funds for various kinds of affordable housing, more cuts will need to happen in NH in programs set up to help those with the lowest incomes opportunities for stable places to live. Please contact your NH congressional delegation to support funds for subsidized housing.
TO FOOD STAMP CUTS!
Some in Congress are proposing restoring the recent cuts to the Food Stamp program (SNAP). Some of those who wanted the cuts claim that food pantries, soup kitchens and other charity programs can meet the needs of millions of Americans. This is not true, especially since so many former donors are making use of emergency programs themselves. - one medical emergency, one stretch of unemployment, one setback of one kind or another turns donors into recipients. You are welcome to call to set up a visit or to volunteer to see for yourselves the new needs.
Medicaid Expansion Still a Possibility
The NH Senate voted in the latest version of expanded Medicaid. It now goes to the House for a vote soon.
People we see at the soup kitchen would benefit from this expansion, since many people do not have a primary doctor ("I don't have insurance - I can't go to the doctor"), wait until they are very ill before seeking care, and in many cases, die because they do not have regular healthcare. It remains unclear what the real (not imagined) detriment there would be to accept this money for people who need it and for communities deluged with drug use and its effects (more possibilities for rehab).
In conversation, and in any way you can offer an opinion, please support this idea. Got a blog? Letter to the editor? Thanks for whatever you can do. Please call your state senator for a reconsideration of this very necessary issue.
LOCAL CROP WALK SUCCESSFUL
The Greater Nashua area CROP WALK, which raises money for world hunger as well as local groups (including NSK&S) was held on Sunday, October 27, 2013. This annual event has raised a million dollars since its inception. It reminds me of the commercial for a weight loss product - "All I had to do was walk!"
Many thanks to all the walkers, pledgers, cooks, musicians, and others who make this an enjoyable and productive event.
HOW TO FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE
NSK&S on FACEBOOK
Become a friend of Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter and/or Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter Advocacy Page on Facebook if you are on that social network, and encourage others to do so. It is another way to bring the concerns of some of the people in Nashua who don't get heard in most networks to a broader audience. Thanks!
SOME WEBSITES TO CHECK OUT
With much of federal legislation stalled or sidetracked, it is important to get the word out to our representatives in Congress that we are concerned about bills that affect homeless and hungry people in our neighborhood, a number that is growing daily due to job loss, increasing costs, and unexpected health care challenges.
SOME WAYS TO BE INVOLVED
Contact our current congressional delegation to support issues important to eradicate homelessness and hunger, to promote safe, affordable housing and enough food for all.
ATTEND A MEETING OF THE NASHUA CONTINUUM OF CARE OR THE ENDING HOMELESSNESS COMMITTEE
The Ending Homelessness Committee welcomes citizen involvement - contact Eileen@NSKS.org for more information. Come to one meeting or lots of meetings.
The Continuum of Care meets on the first Wednesday of each month (except for July) at 8 am, usually at Nashua City Hall. Usually there are 35-45 people representing agencies, businesses, faith communities, students, organizations, as well as present and/or formerly homeless people. The Ending Homelessness group meets at 9am, immediately following the Continuum of Care meeting.